Welcome to our new home! Truly, there is no place like home!
Today is our opening celebration; it is also a time for us to dedicate this place to the Lord for His glory.
We want to briefly speak on: What makes this place special?
What is this place? It is a church now. But we must understand that what makes a place special, is the people who lives there. What makes the house at No. 38 Oxley Road special? Look at the furnishing; it is quite simple and even old. But it is very special to us Singaporean, because it was the house of our late found father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
So what this makes place special? It’s us, the PEOPLE of God who worship here. We are the people of God, the people of faith, we are the church. Without us, this place will just be another place. This place comes alive because we are alive, this place is full of love because we love one another, this place is full of joy because we rejoice always in the Lord.
And because we worship here, the Lord our God lives here. Our Lord Jesus says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” In other words, when the people of God gather to pray and praise in Jesus’ name, He is right here in our midst, to answer our prayer and to do miracles in our lives! So what makes this place special? It’s the people of God and the PRESENCE of God.
When the presence of God is here, He turns the ordinary into extraordinary, the common into sacred and holy. Two thousand years ago, when Jesus was born to be the Saviour of the world, He did not choose a royal palace nor a luxurious house. He chose to be born in a manger, in the midst of the poor people. Today, we still sing of that wonderful night in Christmas carols, how the King of kings was born in the manger. So don’t look down on the industrial environment that we are in, it’s way better than the manger. Jesus is here, is all that matters.
And our Lord Jesus is so generous, He never comes empty-handed. He always comes with His gifts, His blessings, His miracles. When the presence of God is here, the POWER of God is here.
Acts 10:38 You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
The Power of God is here to meet SOCIAL needs. Our Lord Jesus went about doing good when He was here on earth. Today He is still doing good through us, the church. He cares deeply for the poor and needy, the widows and orphans, the lonely and broken-hearted. That’s why we have the Love Your Neighbor ministry, where our people go out weekly to visit and bless the elderly who are poor, lonely and needy.
The Power of God is here to meet SUPERNATURAL needs. As advance as we are in technology and medical science, we still need the supernatural power of God. There are many sicknesses that doctors simply have no answer. But God has the answer. The Gospel is full of miraculous stories of how Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. Today He is still performing miracles of healing through the prayers of His people.
Mark 16:17-18 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
We are not the healer, but Jesus is. We have no power, but He has. We are the conduit of healing. We pray, you believe, God heals.
But most of all, the Power of God is here to meet SPIRITUAL needs. The verse talks about those who are oppressed by the devil.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Who is the thief? It is referring to the devil. The devil is bad, God is good. The devil steal, God gives. The devil kills, God heals. The devil destroys, God rebuilds. The devil lures you into all kinds of fear, worries, anger, bad habits, sinful life-style, no meaning and no purpose in life. God gives you life, meaningful life, purposeful life, full of love, joy and peace.
All of us rejoice that Joseph Schooling won the Gold medal in swimming yesterday. What makes it even more remarkable is that he beats Michael Phelps to it. Phelps is the undisputed and unequalled champion in the swimming world. At the age of 31 he is still winning gold medals in Olympic. But do you know that 2 years ago he was so messed up that he wanted to commit suicide? After winning all he could win, he lost purpose and meaning in life. Thank God that his Christian friend reached out to him, encouraged him, gave him a book written by Christian pastor Rick Warren, “Purpose Driven Life”. His life turned around. He got reconciled with his estranged father, married his longtime girlfriend, and today, he competes in his fifth and final Olympic.
That’s what the power of God can do for you. You see, church is not about how beautiful this place is or how wonderful the music is. Church is about people, about life change, about hearts transformed. That’s what makes us the church.
In the weeks and months to come in this place, you will see many more new faces, new members. I assure you it is not just numbers, but lives, precious lives, who are touched and blessed and changed by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to this end that makes this place special, and it is what makes everything we do meaningful and significant.
Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
God is doing a new thing! God is doing a new thing in my life, in my family, in my church!
Don't say, "Hopefully, one day it will happen."
God says, "NOW it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
Don't say, "It's impossible, I'm in the desert and wasteland."
God says, "I am making a WAY in the desert and STREAMS in the wasteland."
Don't say, "It's too late for me, you don't know my past."
God says, "FORGET the past! I am doing a NEW thing!"
Your future is not determined by your past!
Remember, God is doing a NEW thing, not an old thing!
Give your life to Jesus, and He will make of you a new creation.
Lam 3:22-23 The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Every morning there is new mercy, new lovingkindness to give you a new chance.
Don't be trapped by the regrets of your past, neither be stuck in the repeats of your present!
Do you have ten years’ experience or one year’s experience repeated ten times?
Principles cannot be changed, but methods can change.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
God wants to do a new thing, but are you willing to CHANGE?
4 New Things that God Wants to Change in us:
I. Revitalized in Spirit
How is your spirit? Is it down or up? Is it weak or strong? Is it dormant or active?
The order of creation is: Spirit, Soul, Body. But for many it becomes: Body, Soul, Spirit.
When your spirit is down and out, your flesh rears its ugly head to take control, and turns your life upside down.
Time to let the Holy Spirit revitalize your spirit and turn your life right side up!
God wants to fill you with a spirit of hope and hunger, excitement and expectancy, courage and confidence.
Come hungry and thirsty, open wide your mouth, and God will fill it!
Let the fire of the Spirit fall, and ignite us once again!
II. United in Love
Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
Ephesians 4:1-3 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
God's people are united in love.
Unity, not uniformity. Different, but united.
Love preserves the unity of the Spirit: Love for God, love for Church, and love for one another.
We are a church, not a cafetaria. We are members, not customers.
In the face of challenges, we don't take off and run. We stand with our church, we fight for our church!
Some people love the church in general, but can't stand the individual members in particular.
Resolve, not dissolve.
III. Mobilized in Mission
What is your assignment in life? What is the purpose of your life? What is God calling us to do?
Each has a gift, each has a role, together we achieve more.
Total mobilization of all members for mission!
This church was built, not just for ourselves, but for others whom the Lord has called to come.
Let's get our hands dirty, let's get our feet wet, let's get into the action, and BUILD OUR CHURCH!
IV. Accelerated in Growth
Acts 2:46-47 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
God wants His church to grow.
You want your church to grow.
Together let's grow the church!
The miracle is in your mouth!
Thus far we've been dealing with how we should speak to people. We must also learn how we should speak to our problems.
What do you do when the mountain of difficulty is blocking the way to your destiny?
Do you curse the mountain? Complain about the mountain? Cry before the mountain?
The people of faith have another option: You can command the mountain to be removed!
Mark 11:22-24 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23 I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Notice two things:
First, what you say is what you believe.
What you believe has to do with your faith in God. Faith is the foundation of the Christian life.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. With faith it is impossible not to please God.
Have faith in God, believe that all things are possible with Him!
But faith in God is not in the mind, it's in the heart and expressed through the mouth.
Faith must be confessed.
To confess is to say the same thing in agreement. The confession of faith is to say the same thing in agreement with the Word of God.
Faith that is not confessed is incomplete and inactive.
Faith is like the wire that connects the appliance to the power source. There is more than enough power to run the appliance, but you need to turn on the switch of the confession of your mouth.
What have you been saying and confessing with your mouth?
You cannot believe one thing and confess another thing. What you confess must agree with you believe.
Don't hijack or sabotage the miracle that you want from God.
Ultimately what you confess reveals what you truly believe.
Matthew 12:34 "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart."
Your heart is like a sponge, only when squeezed then you will know what it has been filled with.
What you say is what you believe, and what you say will reinforce what you believe.
Second, what you say is what you receive.
Do you want to receive a miracle? It's found in your mouth, because God does what you say!
This is not a scandalous, prideful disregard of God's sovereignty. Rather, it is to understand that you must confess what you believe before God will do it. Therefore, God does what you say.
This doesn't mean that you can't pray silently. But most of the time you should say it out and pray out loud.
It's time that you stop talking about your problem and start talking to your problem.
Stop complaining to God about how big the mountain is, start commanding the mountain about how big your God is.
The size of the mountain matters not to God. He only asks that you have faith and start speaking to the mountain.
Many examples in the Bible:
1. God told Moses to speak to the rock
2. The Israelites shouted and Jericho wall fell
3. Ezekiel prophesied to the dead and dry bones
4. Zechariah spoke to the mountain - Zechariah 4:7 “What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of "Grace, grace to it!"
Does it mean that you cannot admit your problem? Not at all!
We do not deny the presence of problems, we simply deny the power of these problems.
Stop talking about the problem, start talking about the answer, the solution, the promises of God!
Joel 3:10 Let the weak say, "I am strong."
Let the poor say, "I am rich!" Let the blind say, "I can see!"
The miracle is indeed in your mouth!